Student takes on feature-length film


A screenshot shows a scene from sophomore computer science major Aaron Houillon’s feature-length film “The Delta Vector.”

By Roxana Moraga

Sophomore computer science major Aaron Houillon is working on making a feature-length film.

Houillon is seeking to make this film using the website Kickstarter, an online platform where users can upload project ideas and get matched to sponsors. In order for Houillon to make his film happen, he needs enough backers to meet his $4,000 goal. Backers must make a $1 minimum pledge, and they receive rewards in relation to the amount of money they give.

Houillon said his project is a “feature-length dystopian sci-fi machinima film” called “The Delta Vector.”

Northern Star: What is your film about?

Aaron Houillon: The film is set in the near future. It’s about four soldiers gathering up a resistance against a tyrannical empire. They’re trying to do this before a huge war begins. It focuses on one soldier in particular who is trying to come to terms with not only a past that he can’t fix but also a future he can’t control.

NS: What inspired you to begin this project?

AH: I was inspired by similar videos on the Internet. You know, series like Red vs Blue; plus, a lot of the animation stuff by Valve Software. I mean, moviemaking for me has gone beyond that, but in particular with this medium — using video games to make movies — what really inspired me were similar projects created on the Internet. With the price of computer hardware going down and the proliferation of free software, it became a possibility for me, and I figured, you know, this is what I really love to do, so why not?

NS: How long have you been working on this film?

AH: Off and on for about two-and-a-half to three years now. A great deal of time has been spent writing the script and rewriting it and rewriting it. Through rewriting and refining it, and as my writing skills improved and I got feedback on it, I believe the script is now 130 pages. It’s something that I’m really proud of and it’s come a long way, and part of why I’m doing this is in order to get funding to make it come to life.

NS: What are some of the main themes that can be found in this film?

AH: A large part of what I look at is humanity’s dependence on technology. One of the plot points of the film is that they have all this technology that the people come to depend on and the film looks at how they try to cope when something fails. Another aspect of this film is a relatively new concept called “transhumanism.” It basically looks at technological advancements for improving human life and extending life expectancy and there are a couple projects out there that look to almost create immortality. I think it’s very intriguing to look at — at what point do these “cyborgs” stop being human and just become more of a machine?

NS: What would be your message to fellow NIU students interested in filmmaking?

AH: I would say it’s definitely a lot of hard work. You have to be passionate about it and really dedicate time, but it’s a very rewarding craft. There are so many artistic disciplines that come into filmmaking, so you have to really be proficient in them. You also need networking skills in order to sell your idea to other people and get them interested. But the most important things are hard work and passion.

To learn more about “The Delta Vector” or to donate to Aaron Houillon’s Kickstarter, go to